The Toledo Mud Hens were rained out on Thursday. As a result they’ll play a pair of seven inning games on Friday against the Nashville Sounds. Right-hander Rony Garcia will get the start in game one after missing spring camp after appendicitis surgery.
Erie SeaWolves 5, Reading Fightin Phils 4 (box)
Right-hander Elvin Rodriguez looked good in his 2021 debut, spinning four innings of two hit, shut out ball with six strikeouts. Rodriguez riding fastball and curveball were in lively form throughout the short outing as the Tigers were cautious with his pitch count.
Yariel Gonzalez handed Rodriguez an early lead with a solo shot in the first inning, his second of the young season. SS Ryan Kreidler—the Tigers rising 2019 fourth round pick—widened that lead in the third with a solo shot, after two runs had already scored on a Riley Greene sac fly and a wild pitch. John Valente doubled home Dylan Rosa in the sixth to complete the SeaWolves’ scoring.
A pair of walks from reliever Billy Lescher, and an error on Rosa, helped the Phils score a pair of runs in the seventh to make it 5-2. Joe Navilhon ultimately collected the save, but only after two runs in the bottom of the ninth had made things too close for comfort.
Coming Up Next: A.J. Ladwig will take the mound for the SeaWolves on Friday night at 7:05 pm ET against the Phils’ Kyle Glogowski.
West Michigan Whitecaps 6, Fort Wayne TinCaps 3 (box)
Starter Chance Kirby put the Whitecaps in good position to win this one, and his catcher had a big hand in supplying the offense. Kirby punched out five, allowing one run on one hit and a walk in five innings of work. His opposite number, Padres pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, went two scoreless with three strikeouts as he works his way back from injuries that kept him off the mound for most of the last four seasons.
West Michigan finally got on the board in the sixth. Catcher Dillon Dingler walked, moved to second on a Trei Cruz ground out, and scored on a Bryant Packard single. In the seventh, they blew it open with a five run inning highlighted by Dingler’s two-run triple off the right field wall. Dingler scored on a balk, and later in the frame Packard came through again with another RBI single to put the Whitecaps up 6-1. Angel Reyes allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, but otherwise the outcome was on lock.
Spencer Torkelson struck out three more times in this one. Keep sending him up. On the plus side, Parker Meadows drew a pair of walks, and Cruz had a single and a walk on the night. Packard led the way with three hits.
Coming Up Next: Edgar Martinez will start for the TinCaps tonight at 7:05 pm ET as the series continues. West Michigan is still in TBD mode.
Clearwater Threshers 5, Lakeland Flying Tigers 0 (box)
Carlos Guzman’s season debut didn’t go as planned. The right-hander allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits in 3 2⁄3 innings of work, collecting five strikeouts. Jimmy Kerr and catcher Cooper Johnson led the offense with a single and a walk apiece, but otherwise there wasn’t much to speak of. Nick Quintana, Jose King, and Sam McMillan each had a single. Overall the Flying Tigers struck out 14 times, with Jose De La Cruz, Ulrich Bojarski, and King each getting rung up three times.
Coming Up Next: RHP Ted Stuka will go for the Flygers on Friday, taking on Starlyn Castillo at 6:30 pm ET from Clearwater.